Friday, May 30, 2014

Choc Chip Banana Muffins

Chocolate in a lunchbox is bound to keep kids happy..... but it doesn't have to be an unhealthy type of chocolate! Try this treat to keep them happy :-)

(Makes 12)

2 Tablespoons ground flax
3/4 cup plant milk
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 overripe bananas
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips (I used Sweet William - cacao nibs would work too)
2 cups wholemeal SR flour

Whisk together the flax seeds with 6 Tablespoons boiling water - set aside to thicken.
In a measuring jug combine the milk with the apple cider vinegar - set aside to thicken.
In a large mixing bowl mash the bananas. Add the applesauce, vanilla, milk mixture & coconut sugar. Whisk until well combined, then stir through the flax seed mixture.
Gently fold the flour and chocolate chips into the wet ingredients until just combined - do not overmix.
Using an ice-cream scoop - pour a scoop full of mixture into a muffin tray. 
Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 30minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Eggplant Bean Sauce on roasted potatoes

Our family LOVE having roast potatoes for dinner....
And we also love eggplant meals....
And we also love bean sauce!
So this dinner is always a winner.
It's a little bit fiddly with all the different parts but it's not difficult. And it's well worth the effort.

To serve 4:

Wrap 4 large potatoes in foil & bake in a 200C oven for one hour or until soft in the centre. While the potatoes are cooking prepare the eggplant & bean sauce.
1 eggplant
1 onion

Put the eggplant and onion in a large frying pan and dry fry til the eggplant is tender.
You can add stock or water to stop the vegetables from sticking if needed.
Cook until the eggplant is soft

In a blender combine: 1 tin borlotti beans, drained
1 roasted red capsicum
1 teaspoon minced garlic
350grams passata
Blend til smooth.
Pour the blended bean mix over the cooked eggplant. 
Mix together and warm over medium heat until warmed through. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Italian herbs and freshly chopped basil.

Serve over the cooked potatoes.

Want a quick alternative - make the eggplant bean sauce and serve it over brown rice or couscous.

Question of the day:
What is your favourite topping to serve over roasted potatoes?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Bubble & Squeak Patties

Bubble and Squeak...
A classic and a favourite for many!
And yet it is made in so many different ways. I have seen people make a whole fry pan and slice it up. I have seen many different vegetables added. I have seen them done with different types of potatoes and coated with different things too.
This is my version.

You'll need:
6 medium sized potatoes (1kg)
2 cups frozen carrots, peas & corn
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Fill a large pot with water and place the chopped potatoes and vegetables in. Bring to the boil and simmer until the potatoes are very soft.
Strain and return to the pot.
Mash, focusing on the potatoes so that the vegetables aren't too broken down.
Add the flour, onion flakes and pepper. Stir well.
With wet hands shape approx 1/2 cup mixture into patties and use your hands to round the edges.
Place on a lined baking sheet.
(If you have time to cool them first then they will hold together better - if not go ahead and bake them but they will be more crumbly.)

Bake in a preheated 200C oven for 30 minutes (gently flipping once) until golden and slightly crispy on the edges. 
If you want these more crispy you can dry fry them in a frying pan.

Makes 10 patties.
  We love taking these on a picnic! 

Question of the day:
What do you usually add to your "bubble and squeak"?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Melting Mocha Pudding

I have been having a bit of a pudding fettish lately! I guess it's just the weather for it - and let's face it, pudding is really comforting both to make & to eat!

You'll need:
1 cup wholemeal self raising flour
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 Tablespoons dairy free chocolate chips (optional)
3/4 cup plant milk of choice (I used vanilla soy)
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 Tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 Tablespoons boiling water

1 Tablespoon instant coffee
2 Tablespoons muscavado or brown sugar
3/4 cup boiling water

In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, cocoa and chocolate chips (if using). Stir until well combined and no clumps left in the cocoa. 
Gently stir in the milk, applesauce and flax mixture. Stir until the dry ingredients are just wet - do not over stir. 
Lightly spray a pudding dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the pudding mixture into the dish and tap til evenly distributed.
In a measuring jug combine the coffee and sugar and pour over the boiling water & stir until coffee and sugar have dissolved.
Then pour the coffee mixture over the pudding.

Bake in a preheated 160C oven for 40 minutes until pudding is cooked through & coffee mixture has soaked through to the bottom creating a 'sauce'. You will see it bubbling out the sides when the pudding is cooked.

 It may appear 'uncooked' but that is just the sauce. A skewer poked into the center will still come out clean.

Now admittingly these are not the greatest pictures! This is definitely not a 'pretty' pudding - but then again not too many are! None the less, it is still delicious! 
In the picture below I wanted to show the 'sauce' that is on the bottom of the pudding.

You can substitute coffee essence in place of the coffee if you are willing to share this with your children ;-)

Submitted for Meatless Monday - Xocolato: 
which is the Aztec word for Chocolate.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Baked Quinoa Pizza Pie

This is neither a pizza nor a pie really..... but rather inspired by both pizza and pie!
Either way - it's totally delicious :-)

3 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 green capsicum
1/4 cup corn kernels (or other pizza veggies of choice like mushrooms)
1 spring onion
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup tomato paste 1 teaspoon garlic flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili

Chop the veggies and basil leaves.
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined.
Press into a lightly sprayed casserole dish. Press down well.

Next make the topping.

Cheese sauce:
2 generous Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 Tablespoon cornflour
1 cup plant milk of choice

Whisk together all the ingredients in a microwave safe jug.
Microwave for 1 minute or until thicken.
Spread over quinoa mixture.

Bake 30 minutes in a preheated 180C oven.

Slice and serve.
This will slice better if it has had time to cool first. 

 Submitted for Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Add your healthy vegan recipe on these blogs:

Herbivore Triathlete 
Hello Veggy 
Rock My Vegan Socks

Question of the day:
What dishes have inspired you to be creative with their flavours but in an alternate way?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Kale Attacked Minestrone Stew

The reason for the name of this stew:
My husband came home from work, walked into the kitchen to see what I was cooking and commented: "What happened to the dinner? Did it get attacked by kale or something?"
I chuckled!
Kale doesn't tend to wilt down quite as much as other greens in cooking. Though thankfully for the sake of my husband, it does a little.... so when you throw a whole bunch into your stew although it takes over at the start, by the time it's cooked down a little bit, it seems like a much more reasonable amount!!!!! lol
Then again, I think being attacked by the "super hero" power of kale isn't such a bad thing after all ;-)
And so I bring you....

You'll need:
1 large onion
1 large zucchini
1 large carrot
2 cloves of garlic
1 can cannelliini beans (drained)
1 can tomatoes
1 bunch kale
3 stalks of both basil and parsley (fresh)
4 bay leaves
1 litre vegetable stock (I used home made)
1/2 cup soup pasta

Chop all the vegetables and herbs. In a large pot brown the onion using a bit of water to prevent from sticking. Add all ingredients to the pot and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft (and the kale has wilted down lol).

Most of the stock will be absorbed by the pasta - making it more the consistency of a 'stew' and not a 'soup'. If you prefer this more 'soup-like' just add more stock (or water).
Remove the bay leaves prior to serving.

I am linking this to Meatless Monday: Watercress.
I have to confess that I can't find watercress in our regular store and I didn't have the time to look for it in other places! Any greens can be substituted for the kale in this recipe.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Apple Wonton Fold-overs

When I was younger we used to make apple fold-overs that we called "treats for Daddy". I still make "treats for daddy" but now with my daughter and also without thick pastry.

These are a super easy and delicious treat. 
Great for when visitors pop over or for a quick dessert.
They are very quick to make.

You'll need:
wonton wrappers
pie apples (either store bought or home made)
plant milk of choice
Optional: whipped coconut cream for dipping

Lay wontons out on a bench.
Place a few pieces of pie apples on one half of the wonton wrapper. Add a few sultanas in each wonton and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Fold over to make a triangle shape and press the edges together firmly.
Place on a lined baking tray and brush the tops of the wontons with plant milk.
Place in a preheated 200C oven for 10-15minutes until lightly golden brown.

Question of the day:
Did you have a childhood treat that you still make now but in a different way?

Submitted for Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Add your healthy vegan recipe on these blogs:

Herbivore Triathlete 
Hello Veggy 
Rock My Vegan Socks

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In My Kitchen - May

If you follow my blog you may have noticed my lack of posts lately....

To be honest, I'm just enjoying being creative in the kitchen without having to measure items or take the time to photograph them!
Of course that doesn't mean I'm not spending much time in my kitchen, in fact I'm probably spending more! 

I have had fun using many of the new items that I posted about in my February edition of In My Kitchen.

I have also had the chance to try a few recipes that I had tagged as "to try".

Here's a few that I've really enjoyed:

 These are very rich! I would rather these with a jam spread in place of the peanut butter layer. But what a fancy looking dessert for when visitors pop over! They are so easy to make!

Totally DELICIOUS! This will be a regular for our lunches now!
Addicted to this! To be honest I am a bit over eating oats and was in hunt of a different breakfast alternative so when I tried this I was in a state of pure bliss!
My hunt for an alternative breakfast found me this. I quite enjoy cold cereal sometimes but don't like to buy processed varieties. I omitted the oil from this recipe and also halved the sugar.

I wasn't so keen on this when I first made it, however after sitting in the fridge it thickened up and the flavours blended together deliciously! Then I was a fan!!!

I have also enjoyed cooking from my cookbooks! 
This orange and poppyseed cake from Skinny Bitch Bakery was AMAZING!

And I also enjoy experimenting in my kitchen without recipes :-)
This burger was made with a tofu omelette & quinoa and lentil pattie.

 Individual shepherds pies.

Soaked chocolate oats with cherry cream.

 Scroll pie with mexican bean mix.

Curried chickpea patties with roasted sweet potato chips on salad.

Banana and berry ice-cream with chocolate chips.

I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas.... ;-)
Especially in the form of baked apple (oat crumbs on top) and banana ice-cream!!!

 When I think of time spent in the kitchen I think of bread. I don't know why - perhaps because its just one of those items that get made only when I have a lot of time, perhaps its the rising time needed. We don't eat a lot of bread so thankfully I don't have to worry about it too much!!!
I am not one who has mastered the art of home-made bread. I need to find a way to make home-made wholemeal bread work out better. Mine always seems so dense. I need to discover the difference between bakers flour & regular flour I think!
Anyone want to enlighten me???
However, I have thoroughly enjoyed making this focaccia - twice!!!
Once as a regular herbed focaccia and the next time as a focaccia filled pizza. This went down particularly well with my family!

A few chocolate treats always delight as well!
The one on the left is a freezer 'fudge' made using bananas, coconut flour, and cocoa powder. The one on the right is a peanut butter oat slice that set in the fridge without baking. I blended soaked dates and prunes with oats and peanut butter and then stirred through puffed rice. Sorry I don't have quantities to post an official 'recipe' - they are pretty versatile to make - just pop ingredients into a food processor and blend til smooth then spread into desired tray and refrigerate or freeze.

Sadly these okara currant cookies sat in our kitchen too long!
I had made them on a Friday afternoon and because we were out all weekend instead of leaving them on the counter top I put them into the cookie jar. And well..... you see, our cookie jar is usually empty so they sat there unnoticed by my husband and when I went to pop them into my daughters lunchbox on Monday morning they had mould on them.
Such a shame - they were so so tasty and moist. I really do love currants.

Talking about lunchboxes, Term 2 here has recently started and I do love packing lunchbox meals!
This is couscous salad with ryvita crispbread with the above mentioned 'cheese spread', grapes, strawberries and roasted broad beans.

Sadly these cakes were not in our kitchen very long at all!
I had baked them all for a fundraiser and I am pleased to say they went down VERY well! 
I did also make a cake for my family to nibble on while the oven was on baking these treats as I did have several comments about all the delicious smells coming out of the kitchen!

Our little home garden continues to deliver us the occasional goodie. 
This week we picked our very first eggplant! 
I had never seen an eggplant tree before and am pleasantly surprised at how pretty the flowers are. 
We haven't grown any zucchini yet but I think this little guy from the shops seems happy enough about it if you ask me!!!!!!!!!

And last but not least I wanted to share this sign with you!
It is obviously not in my kitchen - however I think I need one of these for our kitchen!
It was at a cafe we visited over Easter! 
My kind of cafe that's for sure!!!

What's in your kitchen this month?
Link up your kitchen to Fig Jam & Lime Cordial blog.